Of all the organs in a cat’s body, the skin and the ears are the most vulnerable. While skin conditions are more visible, an infection in the ear requires keen observation and can be detected only if you are observant while grooming your pet cat or dog.
Ear mites live by tunneling into the ear canal of cats. The automatic response of the cat’s body is to produce more wax to combat the invasion by cat ear mites. Severe infections give rise to an offensive smell. If not attended to in time, ear mites can lead to secondary infections in cats.
Cat and dog ear mites cause intense itching compelling the pet to shake its head vigorously. This can cause abscesses or cuts. Treating ear mites at the first sign can save a lot of discomfort to the cat as well as inconvenience to the owners.
Severe infection of ear mites may require you to visit your veterinarian for a properly cleaning of the ear. This procedure is so thorough that it might even necessitate a general anesthesia in certain cases. Mild to moderate infections are treated with topical ointments, injections and oral medication.
Many topical ointments kill only adult mites and are ineffective in eradicating the mite eggs. The entire ear mite lifecycle of three weeks is spent off the host. That means that topical treatment must continue for the total span of mite lifecycle. Topical treatments that contain antibiotics to contain inflammations and secondary infections are preferred as they require less time to show results.
Injections for treating ear mites in cats are not approved by the FDA but are still used by veterinarians. Depending upon the severity of the infection, a course of two to four injections is normally used to eradicate mites.
Ear mites by themselves are not a very big problem if proper and timely attention is paid to their treatment. The problem starts when ear mites lead to secondary infection. Groom your cat regularly and pay special attention to its ears for signs of wax accumulation, thickening of the external ear (pinna) and a bad odor.
The worrying fact is that ear mites may never completely disappear from the body of your cat. In such a scenario, prevention is the best cure. Some very effective home remedies for dog ear mites block the breathing pores of mites to suffocate and kill them, which can be of great help for cat ear mites, too. Periodic cleaning of the ears will save your cat from developing serious infections. In multi-pet homes, this is all the more necessary because ear mites are highly contagious and can transmit to other pets as well as humans.